of MBA Polymers wins Innovation Award
The Economist announced that Dr. Michael Biddle,
founder and president of MBA Polymers, will receive the Energy
and Environment award at its Innovation Awards ceremony, which
was held on October 21, 2010 at the Science Museum in London.
Dr. Biddle founded Michael Biddle & Associates in his garage
in 1992 to demonstrate that it was possible to recycle plastics
from complex waste streams. MB&A was expanded to a pilot
line in Berkeley, California and renamed MBA Polymers in 1994
after he brought on his former colleague, Laurence Allen.
From this humble beginning, MBA Polymers now has headquarters
and a research center in Richmond, California, and recovers materials
from a variety of sources, including computers, electronics,
appliances and automobiles. The company has developed numerous
proprietary processes for separating polymeric materials from
highly complex waste products. These are then reused in a number
of different applications, making it a more sustainable option
than using new virgin plastics. MBA’s process requires less than
10 percent of the energy compared to making plastics from petrochemicals.
Commenting on the award decision by a panel of independent judges,
Tom Standage, Digital Editor at The Economist said, “With this
award, the judges have recognized Michael Biddle for the outstanding
contribution his innovative way of dealing with plastics has
made to improving the environment. MBA Polymers and the U.S.
Department of Energy estimate that 12 billion pounds of mixed
durable plastics are discarded in America each year. By using
MBA’s recycled plastic pellets as raw material, plastics manufacturers
can save lots of money and significant amounts of energy. MBA’s
sorting technology also means that material that might otherwise
end up in landfill can be recycled.”